Saturday, February 23, 2019

Snowpocalypse 2019

Last winter was terrible - long stretches of dry weather and almost no snow. This year? A whole different story.

This week we saw a storm that snowed for 3 days. It was predicted that Flagstaff would get 24 inches. By the time it was all done, Flagstaff had received over 40 inches of snow. Lots of businesses were closed or closed early because their employees could not get in to work. At the hospital they made arrangements for staff to be able to stay overnight instead of trying to get home unsafely.

The snowplow finally came through the neighborhood late yesterday so this morning it was time to get our and take a walk around the neighborhood.

This afternoon I finished digging out.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Learning to Drone

We've become addicted to YouTube videos - especially from people who are living full time in their RVs and travelling around the country. A few favorites are Carey on Vagabond, Wanderland Travelers, and Eamon & Bec. They are inspiring us for the places we hope to be traveling in our Sportsmobile camper and the photography is just stunning.

As we prepare for our own new adventures, I've branched out into new areas like getting a GoPro and learning to edit video. The next step was to get a drone, but rather than biting off a huge investment right away, I picked up a used drone at Bookmans so that I could learn what it takes to operate one. It is certainly harder than I anticipated, but also a lot of fun.

Here's a sampling of the misadventures of learning to fly a drone.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Praising God

It's always a joy for us to worship at Phoenix Christian Reformed Church, but today turned out to be an especially joyful day as our grand-daughter Ellie sang for the first time with the praise team. Of course I shot videos!

Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise

Jesus Love Me

I Know Whom I Have Believed (probably my favorite song of all time)


Faith is the Victory

My Life is in You

The morning service also a sermon based upon Joshua 3 that was exactly the encouragement that our family needed to hear this morning. God knew just what message to deliver to us today. He is so good!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Last Day–De Trouwe Wachter

After Monnikendam, we headed for another repeat on this trip. Our friends, the family Verbiest, had been away on their own holiday and we weren’t sure we would get to see them. Fortunately, they arrived back just in time for us to visit them at the molen on our last afternoon. One of the best things about having been to the Netherlands several times is that we have made friends and not just visited the sites. De Trouwe Wachter is a non-pumping watermill where my great-grandmother was born. Her father was the first full-time miller to operate the mill in the mid 1800s. Jan Verbiest’s father had made the original arrangements to utilize the molen for a weekend retreat and now it has been passed down to Jan and his family.





Jan, Elles and their son Pold met us at the mill late in the afternoon. I got a real kick out of Pold, who does not understand English. He wanted to know why is parents were only speaking English with us and they had to explain that we only understand English. I’m sure he found this very strange. Pold was very anxious for us to see the animals that they care for on the neighbor’s property and the chicken coop that Jan had built so food was chopped up and off we went to feed the animals.









As we were ready to leave, Elles insisted that we get some photos of us at the molen.



This is a view that I never get tired of seeing!


Last Day–Monnickendam

We had visited Monnickendam a few days ago, but on this last day in Nederland we stopped in again for Streekproduktenmarkt - a street fair by the harbor that features locally produced products. It was held in conjunction with Monnickendammer Visdagen. The events included lots of stands for folks selling local products as well as games for kids. Linda couldn’t pass up the freshly steamed mussels. It was a great time!












Thursday, August 17, 2017

Zaanse Schans

The forecast for today called for rain, so we planned to do something outdoors! What’s next, bicycling in the rain?

Okay, maybe we aren’t as adventuresome as this sounds. Zaanse Schans is a large outdoor venue with molens and other buildings from the area, but it also has a lot of places to duck into while it rains. One of those places is the Zaans Museum, which tells the history of the area. The only photo that I took in the museum was of an old sewing machine. I was amazed to learn that it was used for not only making, but repairing the sacks which were used (and reused) for transporting grains and such. We would throw away a sack that was damaged, but not these Dutch folks – they fixed them!


Zaanse Schans is a very popular tourist area with lots of tour buses and such. We figured that with the rain it would be light on crowds, but no! This may be the busiest we’ve seen, but it is still great fun. Here is Linda inside the cheese shop and some other photos of the area.








And yes, it did rain, but it made the flowers look great!


The only museum that we visited is the Weavers House. This is new since our last visit in 2015. Weaving sailcloth was an industry that was done in homes in this area. This home was moved to the venue from about 7 km away. It had been the home of 2 families who used 5 looms to weave cloth for sailing ship sails. The volunteers claimed me as a new volunteer because of my understanding of weaving.







Our day actually started in the rain, with a visit to the nearby Beemster Cheese factory for their outlet store. The cheese is wonderful, and I love their sense of humor – purple cows!



The end of the day was quite different – the rain stopped and there was sunshine. The sheep were out in the meadow and we rode the bicycles to the nearby grocery store after we discovered that we were out of coffee (gasp!).



Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Not far from Utrecht is the little town of Tienhoven. It’s got a few more than ten houses today, but you can certainly see where it wasn’t much bigger than that when the name was first used. This is the location of De Trouwe Wachter – the polder molen where my great-grandmother was born.






Our day ended with a bicycle ride around the polder. It was a beautiful evening with perfect temperatures for riding.